Finns Point

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Finns Point is a small strategic promontory at the southwest corner of the New Jersey peninsula, on the east bank of the Delaware River near its mouth on Delaware Bay. Due to a geographic curiosity, part of the promontory is actually enclosed within the state of Delaware's borders, due to tidal flow and the manner in which the borders between New Jersey and Delaware were first laid out. The area is about 10 miles south of the city of Wilmington, and directly across the Delaware River from the New Castle area, and the Delaware River entrance to the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. Pea Patch Island, part of the state of Delaware, sits in the channel of the river facing the promontory.

17th century[edit]

At the time of European colonization in the 17th century the Delaware River was known as the South River and the Salem River was known as Varkens Kill, or Hogg Creek.[1]

Tradition holds that a settlement was first planted by a Finns as part of the colony of New Sweden in 1638.[2][3][4] among them, the family of Anders Sinicka, whose surname has many variations.[5] [6] [7][8][9] This is recalled in the name of the road running along the shore south of the Port of Salem, Sinnicksons Landing Road.[10] which bears the name of the a prominent Salem County family, including Thomas Sinnickson and his descendants.

In 1641, a group of 60 settlers (20 families) from the New Haven Colony (in today's Connecticut) purchased land along the kill. In 1643, the Governor of New Sweden built Fort Nya Elfsborg, just east of present day Salem, New Jersey, and allowed the Varkens Kill settlement to remain if they swore allegiance to Sweden.[11][12][13]

In 1651, Fort Casimir was constructed directly across the river on the west bank of the Delaware and by 1655, the region came under the control of New Netherland, which it remained until 1664 when the English overran the settlements on the south banks of the Delaware. The peninsula on the east banks became West Jersey. The town at Salem was founded in 1675 by John Fenwick, a Quaker .[14][15]

Military facilities[edit]

The promontory is the location of Finns Point National Cemetery, a military cemetery used in the American Civil War for Union and Confederate soldiers who died while at Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island. It was also the location of Fort Mott, constructed after the Civil War and used up through World War I to protect the E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company facilities upriver at Carneys Point Township, New Jersey, as well as the port of Philadelphia. The fort is now part of Fort Mott State Park.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Placenames of Salem County, NJ". West Jersey Historu Project. Salem County Historical Society. 1964. Retrieved 2013-07-25. 
  2. ^ "Seventeenth Century Salem County, New Jersey – 1600 through 1699" (PDF). Salem County Office of Archives and Records Management. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  3. ^ Math Teacher (December 10, 2010). "First Colony of Settlers of Finnish Blood - Pennsville, NJ". Waymarking. Retrieved 2013-07-28. FINNS POINT Near Here 300 Years Ago and Later Lived the First Colony Of Settlers of Finnish Blood Upon This Continent **To Their Memory and To The Love of Freedom And Justice that They Handed Down to Their Descendants This Tablet is Erected June 30, 1938 
  4. ^ "Fins Point". Finnish Place Names - New Jersey. Genealogia. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  5. ^ "Old Chest". Rootsweb. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  6. ^ Dunlap, A.R.; E. J. Moyne. "The Finnish Language on the Delaware". Genealogia. Retrieved 2013-07-28. Sinick Brour is called a Finn in a land record in Vol. XV (p. 61) of the Penn MSS (Historical Society of Pennsylvania). On the Finnish origin of the Sinnexson, or Sennecson, family see The journal and Biography of Nicholas Collin, tr. Amandus Johnson (Philadelphia, 1936), p. 227 
  7. ^ Vuorinen, Ask (December 27, 2012). "The Delaware Finns". Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ McMahon, William, South Jersey Towns, Rutgers University Press 
  10. ^,Sinnickson+Landing+Rd,+Salem,+NJ+08079,+USA&gl=nl&ei=SuTzUeTkHsveOJHAgPgM&ved=0CDYQ8gEwAA
  11. ^ Chandler, Alfred N. (1945/2000), Land Title Origins: A Tale of Force and Fraud, Beard Books, p. 242, ISBN 1-893122-89-1  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  12. ^ Sheridan, Janet L. (2007). ""Their houses are some Built of timber": The colonial timber frame houses of Fenwick's Colony, New Jersey". University of Michigan Ann Arbor. p. 182. Retrieved 2013-07-24. 
  13. ^ Howe, Henry; Barber, John W. (1844), Salem, NJ, New York: S. Tuttle 
  14. ^ Clement, John (1875). A sketch of the life and character of John Fenwick. Published by Friends Historical Association. Philadelphia: Henry S. Volkmar
  15. ^ Shourds, Thomas (1876). "John Fenwick." History and genealogy of Fenwick's Colony, New Jersey. Bridgeton, New Jersey, pp. 3-17 ISBN 0-8063-0714-5

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°37′05″N 75°33′46″W / 39.617946°N 75.562651°W / 39.617946; -75.562651